Modern Marketing

Ad Council leverages audience data to give pets a new home

By Andrew Blustein | Reporter

January 15, 2019 | 3 min read

Almost two-and-a-half million pets are currently in animal shelters in the US, so why not use audience targeting to try to give these animal companions a new, loving home?

The Ad Council tried just that with its "Shelter Pet Project" campaign. Along with co-sponsors Maddie's Project and The Humane Society, the Ad Council partnered with AdTheorent to identify audiences that had visited the campaign's website, and then used its relationship graph of 1.3tn to target families and co-habitants that showed interest in adoption.

Armed with the principal that pet adoption is a group decision and AdTheorent's Relationship Targeting tool, the campaign aimed to reach beyond a single individual engaging with the campaign. The strategy drove an 86% uptick in conversion when compared to targeting only the individual who had visited the Shelter Pet Project website.

The Shelter Pet Project campaign used targeting tools to give pets a new home

The Shelter Pet Project campaign used targeting tools to give pets a new home

“AdTheorent’s Relationship Targeting approach drove higher conversions by reaching the whole family or household of an individual who expressed initial interest," said Katherine Pastre, senior vice president, media strategy and outreach at Ad Council. "This is very exciting as we have the possibility of driving larger adoption and lower euthanasia rates, which is our mission.

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The average user had a web of 14 friends, family members, and co-habitants. For individuals who had six of their connections see similar in-market ads, the conversion rate was 70% higher than that of individuals who only had one connection see such an ad.

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